Friday, April 19, 2013

Hokkaido Sushi Bar - Granby Street, Downtown Norfolk

Last time I dined at Sakura in Old Dominion University's Monarch Village, I noticed their chopstick wrappers advertised another restaurant's name, Hokkaido in downtown Norfolk. There is a current sushi battle in downtown right now with at least four open. Laine noticed Hokkaido's hard work on the nice, large outdoor patio. Today's nice weather drew us there to enjoy lunch. We ended up having it to ourselves, even better! The menu mimics Sakura's, so I was pretty certain I would be happy. The lunch special made me even more enthusiastic. The two rolls I typically order at Sakura turned into my lunch special for $7.75. Of course, Laine and I have to upgrade in some way, and like my best friend, I substituted the salad for the Miso soup for $1, not a bad up-charge. We started with the edamame, a healthy appetizer that will not ruin your meal. The salad was standard and I do love the accompanying ginger dressing. The Sweet Potato Roll is one of my favorite rolls. The potato is fried and slightly warm, which is unique for a vegetarian roll. My other mainstay is the Peanut Avocado Roll and I always add cream cheese to this for good measure. Hokkaido charged fifty cents to add cream cheese which is reasonable. Related, the iced tea was $1.75 and that is a great price compared to some restaurants who want to charge $3 or more for tea and soda. That always amazes us. My bill came to just over $12...for two rolls, a salad and tea. Quality food, fast service, nice atmosphere (inside and out) and good prices...Hokkaido will be seeing us again very soon.

I watched Hokkaido on Granby evolve over the winter months. I witnessed a lot of work being done inside and out of the building. Instead of tearing down the dilapidated woodwork on the exterior, they invested in the historic character of the building and worked to repair and update it. The building is nicely renovated inside as well, updated from the former Brazilian meat on a stick restaurant. (I was never a fan.)

A warm day prompted us to venture down Granby for a patio seat to check out the food as well. I have heard great reviews from co-workers. As Alex mentions, Sushi restaurants are popping up on every corner. They are NOT all created equal. I consider myself a bit of a sushi snob and wanted to see for myself if Hokkaido measured up to the hype. It did. Here's why:
1. Very reasonable pricing
2. Good quality fish (I had tuna, salmon, yellowtail sashimi)
3. Interesting and creative Rolls
4. Great service. Friendly, timely, accurate.
5. Nice decor
6. No issues, no drama, no errors



Hokkaido Sushi Bar Lunch Specials
Lunch Special

Hokkaido Sushi Bar Lunch Menu
Lunch Menu

Hokkaido Sushi Bar patio seating
Patio View

Hokkaido Sushi Bar dish: Sushi Salad
Nothing exceptional, just a regular sushi salad

Hokkaido Sushi Bar dish: Edamame

Hokkaido Sushi Bar dish: Sweet Potato Roll
Sweet Potato Roll

Hokkaido Sushi Bar dish: Peanut Avocado Roll
Peanut Avocado Roll

Hokkaido Sushi Bar dish: Yellow Tail Sashimi
Yellow Tail Sashimi...nicely sized portion

Hokkaido Sushi Bar wooden patio sculpture
Wooden sculpture on Patio. Who will win? The Tiger or the Eagle?

Hokkaido Sushi Bar bill
Good Value. $7.75 for 3 pieces of sushi or sashimi and one roll (from list provided)

Hokkaido Sushi Bar receipt
Another Lunch Special - Any 2 Rolls, $7.75

Hokkaido Sushi Bar
233 Granby Street
Norfolk, VA 23510

Hokkaido on Urbanspoon

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